Having just finished my second year as an American Association of School Librarians (AASL) committee member, I feel it is important to share the value of the work that has been completed as well as encourage you to volunteer too. I have had the opportunity to serve on two subcommittees associated with AASL: one being the Frances Henne Award and the other the Innovative Reading Grant. AASL has several committees and subcommittees that need volunteer members. Each of these groups has its own objective and serves a different purpose for the organization. Here are my top five reasons you should volunteer:
- Be Connected – This is a great opportunity to be connected to the organization and learn about all the opportunities it can provide. It has also allowed me to connect to other members. These connections are what enables me to grow as a professional.
- It is Simple – Ok, so this one depends on the committee or subcommittee. The subcommittees I have been a part of have been very flexible. They met online through ALA Connect and through a conference call when discussing a final decision. The work was considered short-term and most of it was completed on your own time. There are some committees that require a bigger commitment. The best way to know how much time is needed is to read the descriptions for each of the committees. There is also contact information for the committee chair if you need to ask questions. Here is the link to the AASL committees for more information: http://bit.ly/1qcJfDe
- Show Support – Volunteers are needed to allow for the success of AASL. By being a part of committee work you are supporting the growth of the organization. For the committees that have sponsors you are providing support to those companies as well.
- See Creativity – Reading each application allows me to see the amazing ideas that others are trying in their schools. Committee work allows me to see many creative approaches to solving problems we all face. It makes me stop and think about how the ideas that are shared could work for my students.
- Have an Impact – This is why I love it! Since I have been a part of award subcommittees, I know that the person who receives the award will be able to change what they can do with their students. That is an awesome feeling! I know that no matter what committee you are a part of, it will have a positive impact on our profession and that is worth doing!
If you would like to volunteer for a committee visit: http://www.ala.org/aasl/getinvolved.
Author: Kelly Hincks
I am the librarian at Detroit Country Day Lower School in Bloomfield Hills, MI. I have worked as a school librarian for the past eleven years. I was a classroom teacher for four years prior to that. I have worked in charter, public, and private schools. My favorite thing about being a school librarian is the opportunities I have to work both with students and teachers. I love the co-teaching opportunities and connections I have been able to make! I have served on AASL committees as a member and chair. I currently serve as secretary of my state association, Michigan Association of School Librarians (MASL).
Categories: Advocacy/Leadership, Blog Topics
Kelly, thanks so much for your post highlighting the wonderful benefits of volunteering to serve on an AASL committee. The words you chose are absolutely fitting–connected, simple, support, creativity, impact!
Please do consider volunteering to serve using the Get Involved link from the AASL Web page. As president-elect, I’m working on committee appointments now for 2016-2017.
I agree that the work AASL members do is very important. We learn and grow through every experience. There is another benefit, however, to being a volunteer in AASL and ALA, and it is personal. I’ve met other school librarians from across the county, and many have become friends. When I attend ALA and AASL conferences, I always carve out time to meet my AASL/ALA friends for a meal and chat.